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GSEC: Legislative Update, Final Week


The legislature reconvened, Monday, March 29 for legislative day 39 and will work through yesterday for Sine Die. Sine Die is the final day of the 2021 legislative session, and the date by which a bill must be approved by both Chambers in order to be sent to the Governor’s desk for approval or veto. As Georgia has a two year session cycle, any bill that doesn’t pass can be revisited during the next legislative session in 2022.

Once the General Assembly adjourns Sine Die, Governor Kemp has 40 days to sign veto legislation. He is not required to sign bills and resolutions in order for them to go into law, so unless vetoed, each piece of legislation that reaches his desk will go into law.

For an infographic overview of Georgia’s legislative process, click here.

House Bill 479: Repeal of Citizen Arrest Law  
Bill Sponsor in House: Bert Reeves (R-Marietta)  
Bill Sponsor in Senate: Bill Cowsert (R- Athens)
GSEC Position: Monitoring
Status:  On Wednesday, March 18, HB 479 was passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is eligible to go to the Senate floor for a vote. It must pass the Senate and return to the House for approval in order to reach the Governor’s desk.
Overview: HB 479 repeals the current citizen’s arrest law authored in 1863. HB 479 would revise the grounds for arrest and detainment by a private citizen. This bill provides a shopkeeper’s exemption to retail and foodservice establishments across the state as well as their agents and employees.
Senate Bill 6: Tax Credit Return on Investment Act of 2021
GSEC Position: 
Under Consideration
Bill Sponsor in the Senate: John Albers (R-Roswell)
Bill Sponsor in the House: Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire)

Status: SB 6 passed the Senate on February 1 with a vote of 51-0 and is in the House Ways & Means Committee. On March 23 the House Ways and Means Committee took up SB6 and, by way of committee substitute, added the proposed legislation in HB 586, HB 587, and SB 148 to SB 6. This omnibus version of SB 6 was then voted out of committee and with a 152-14 vote passed the House of Representatives. Immediately after the vote, the Senate formally disagreed with the changes in SB 6. The bill will continue to be discussed next week.
Overview: Part 1 of SB 6 relates to review of tax incentive programs.  It requires that the Office of Planning and Budget determine, either themselves or through a contract with a third party, the direct and indirect effects of tax incentives upon the request of either the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee or the House Ways and Means Committee.  Each Chairman may choose up to 5 tax incentives (either in law or in proposed legislation) each year to be studied, which must be completed no later than December 1 of that year.  The bill now also contains HB 586, HB 587, and SB 148.
Senate Bill 157: Fair Business Practices Act of 1975
GSEC Position: Monitoring
Bill Sponsor in Senate: Bill Cowsert (R- Athens)
Bill Sponsor in House: Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) 
Status: SB 157 passed the House Creative Arts & Entertainment Committee on March 22, and is now eligible to be put on the Rules calendar for a floor vote in the House.
Overview: SB 157 relates to the  “Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,” so as to prohibit the deceptive practice of musical performance groups advertising and appearing as the recording group without the recording group’s permission or denoting that it is a salute or tribute performance; to provide for definitions; to specify violations; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

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